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Willamette | MBA | Atkinson Graduate School of Management Willamette University Willamette MBA (Atkinson School)

summer 2008

Administrative News


Message from the Dean

Dean Debra RingoldDear Atkinson Community,

As we finalize enrollment for this fall's Early Career MBA, MBA for Career Change, and MBA for Professionals programs, I want to take this opportunity to compare and contrast each program.  We very much appreciate the referrals we receive and want to update you on each of our programs.

In increasing numbers, those completing undergraduate degrees are immediately investing in graduate business education.  Some years ago, Willamette University recognized the need for an early career MBA program designed for students with talent and motivation, but without the work experience required by traditional programs. Our Early Career MBA program has been crafted from the ground up to meet the needs of inexperienced students and differs in important ways from traditional programs. Exercises/activities, simulations, consulting projects, and the like require immediate application of what students are learning and stimulates real-time student demand for knowledge/skills. Individuals seeking to change to managerial careers benefit from this approach as well, and our MBA for Career Change increasingly serves students making significant alterations in their career path.

While traditional MBA programs also incorporate case studies, simulations, and similar learning devices, they rely heavily on the prior management experience of students to compel the relevance of general management principles, disciplinary expertise, and subject matter integration. The Willamette MBA for Professionals embraces this approach by asking students to bring their professional challenges and actual projects into class. Faculty take advantage of these first-hand experiences to connect and illustrate important concepts as students benefit from one another's experience and expertise.

Each of our programs focuses students on integrated management principles valuable in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. This cross-sectoral, cross-functional approach enables students to master and integrate subject matter and develop skills prized by employers in all three sectors.

We have learned that effective Early Career and Career Change programs depend heavily on high quality career services and we continue to make significant investments in this arena.  Students benefit greatly from personalized assessment, coaching, carefully supervised internships, mentorship programs, career skills workshops, and employer site visits. Career management programs are also available for MBA for Professionals students.

Whether a prospective student is a working professional, career “changer” or recent undergraduate, Willamette’s MBA program offerings provide personal service and outstanding instruction.  It is this combination of faculty excellence and attention to individual student outcomes that make our programs distinct.

Thank you in advance for your referrals as we recruit and admit outstanding classes in all of our programs this fall.  I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at one of our many upcoming events.

Best Wishes,


Debra Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise



Alumni News


Family Additions

Parker SavageTerri Savage '01, MBA'06 and her husband Riley are happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Parker Lynn Savage. She was born on May 9, 2008, weighing 7 lbs 5 oz and was 19 ½ inches long. "She is a sweet, beautiful little girl," Terri writes. Riley, also a Willamette alum, and Terri reside in Hillsboro, where Terri works as a Senior Financial Analyst for Intel.

Will SeibertWill Harold Seibert was born on June 20 at 8:04 am to Minda Seibert '94, MBA'08 and Bob Seibert '94. Will was born 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches long. "He has ten fingers and ten toes, two eyes wide open to the world, a head full of brown hair, one strong heart and two very delighted parents!" write Minda and Bob, both graduates from Willamette undergrad in 1994. Minda graduated in the first MBA for Professionals cohort last January, while Bob is currently in the Portland cohort graduating in September.


Willamette alumna and mother of Anita Hughes MBA’99 passed away on May 26, 2008. R. Luree (Norris) Hughes, graduated from WU with a Bachelor’s degree in French in 1942, part of the Centennial Class. A number of her aunts and uncles were also Willamette grads; it was a natural choice for Anita's mom to attend. “Mom was a wonderful example of Willamette’s motto: “Not unto ourselves alone are we born,” writes Anita. “This was simply how she lived her life.” She is survived by daughters Anita Luree Hughes (MBA ’99), Allison R. Liesse (BA English, ‘00), a son, Brian Hughes, of California and two grandchildren.

James A. Fitzhenry JD/MBA'81 has been named as Executive Vice President of Schmitt Industries, Inc., effective June 1, 2008. "The addition of Mr. Fitzhenry to Schmitt’s management team will further strengthen the company’s emphasis on growing its existing and new product lines," states the company's press release, dated May 1, 2008. "Mr. Fitzhenry was most recently President of Capital Strategies Group, a federal government business development and government relations firm. Prior to forming Capital Strategies Group, Mr. Fitzhenry was a senior executive at FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: "FLIR") for 15 years, most recently as Senior Vice President for Corporate Operations and Law. FLIR is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of infrared thermography and night vision systems worldwide for a wide variety of industrial, commercial and government applications. 'We are pleased to welcome Jim to the Schmitt Team,' commented Wayne Case, President and CEO of Schmitt. 'He brings a wealth of business, M&A, government and leadership experience to the Company as we prepare for the next stage of our growth,' Mr. Case concluded. Schmitt Industries, Inc. designs, assembles and markets computer controlled balancing equipment (the Balancer Segment) primarily to the machine tool industry. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Schmitt Measurement Systems, Inc. ("SMS") the Company designs, manufactures and markets precision laser measurement systems (the Measurement Segment). The Company also sells and markets its products in Europe through its wholly owned subsidiary, Schmitt Europe Ltd. ("SEL"), located in the United Kingdom."

Pat WaitePat Waite MBA'84 was the number two vote getter in the June 3rd primary for a city council seat in San Jose, CA. Running on a platform of fiscal integrity, honest government and quality of life, Pat finished second in a field of eight candidates on the ballot. Less than 200 votes behind the top vote getter, they will participate in a run-off election on the November ballot. The winner will serve a four year term as the representative for District 8 in San Jose. Find out more at

Robert Foster '72, MAD'76 retired effective June 30, after 19 years with the Oxnard School District. Robert was one of several managers who decided to take advantage of a one-time retirement incentive offered by the District. "I am not ready to spend all day laying around," writes Robert, "so I am now available for consulting or short-term assignments in risk management, safety, employee training, employee benefits and disaster preparedness. Meanwhile, I will be getting our house in shape. The current plan is to move to Oregon in a year or so. The things I will miss about my job are offset by the things I will not miss and by the chance for renewal and exploration. Like all change, this is generating both excitement and trepidation, but it is a great opportunity."

Gerald (Jerry) Mathias MBA'03 moved from Columbus, OH in 2007 to work in Toronto, ON as an independent consultant on Business Intelligence projects for Marsh & McLennan and the Government of Ontario. He is currently the Senior Business Intelligence Analyst for the Global Investments and Corporate Lending division of Scotia Capital, the capital investments arm of the Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank) and Canada's top foreign exchange bank.

Sandy Baruah MM'95 who now heads the Economic Development Administration, was recently selected by President Bush to lead the Small Business Administration. Sandy will succeed Steve Preston, who left the SBA to become secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The announcement of Sandy's appointment appeared in the Portland Business Journal on June 25. Read the full article here:

Sid Parakh MBA'02 was recently promoted to the position of Vice President of Equity Research from the position of Assistant Vice President with the firm McAdams Wright Ragen located in Seattle.


Atkinson News

Leaving a Legacy of Service: Former AGSM Dean and Professor, Bryan Johnston, Passes Away at 59

Bryan JohnstonThe Atkinson Community lost a notable and popular member on June 7 – former Atkinson Dean and Willamette University Interim President, Bryan Johnston.

To those who knew him, Johnston brought an unsurpassed energy to his career – a self proclaimed “mix of academic and civic service.” He was elected Oregon State Representative twice from 1995-1999, and served as a strong advocate for human service legislation. This led Johnston to his most recent appointment at the Department of Human Services, one of the state’s largest agencies.

Johnston served as Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management in the late 1990’s and as a professor of both conflict resolution (at AGSM) and professor of law (at the Willamette College of Law). Most recently, he taught a course entitled “The Environment of Business” in the MBA for Professionals program and was currently teaching the "Negotiations" course in the Early Career MBA program.
Bryan Johnston

He often spoke to incoming classes about issues of corporate social responsibility, ethics and the role of the organization in a broader societal context. His passion for civic engagement inspired students to actively engage in public service – through volunteerism, internships and careers.

“Bryan approached his life and work with passion and vigor, humor and warmth,” said Willamette University President M. Lee Pelton. “His enormous generosity of spirit, his razor-sharp wit and his infinite capacity to lead and inspire others were the hallmark of all he undertook as husband and father, college professor, Atkinson Dean, interim Willamette president, mediator, legislator, and the top administrator of some of the largest and most complex agencies in state government.”

Just a few months ago, Bryan had accepted the position of President of St. Martins College in Lacey, Washington, and planned to relocate there over the summer.

A memorial service for Bryan Johnston was held on Friday, June 20 at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Salem, Oregon.

Bryan Johnston Scholarship Fund:

Willamette University has established a scholarship fund in Bryan's name and contributions may be sent to:

Bryan Johnston Scholarship Fund
Willamette University
900 State Street NE
Salem, OR  97301

Any questions about the scholarship fund may be directed to Ron Korvas,, or Bob Olson,

Related Links:

arrow Read the Statesman Journal Article about Bryan Johnston

arrow Read the Chronicle of Higher Education Note about Bryan Johnston

arrow Bryan Johnston's Willamette Faculty Website

arrow Share your memories of Bryan Johnston online


Anne Murray Allen Appointed Director of the Executive Development Center

Anne Murray AllenAs of July 1, 2008, Anne Murray Allen joined the Willamette University MBA staff as the Director of the Executive Development Center (EDC).  Anne brings over thirty years of executive experience in line management, process development, organizational effectiveness and knowledge and information management to her role as EDC director.

After serving as managing partner of her own business planning and organizational effectiveness consulting firm in Colorado, Anne started a sixteen year career with Hewlett-Packard.  At HP, Anne served in positions as strategic planning manager, business IT manager, director of strategic change initiatives and, most recently, the senior director of Knowledge and Intranet Management for the company.

In addition to her consulting, Anne has delivered numerous presentations at regional and global conferences including Pegasus, i2, HRPS and the American Strategic Management Institute.  Her writing and research has appeared in multiple journal articles published by the Society of Organizational Learning. 

“Anne Murray Allen brings a breadth of experience in strategy, organizational design, process implementation and effectiveness,” said Debra Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. “Her leadership will help EDC clients co-design impactful learning solutions across sectors.”

A resident of Corvallis, Anne serves as board trustee for the Millennium Institute, an international non-profit organization that works with governments and corporations in creating tools for better development planning and decision-making.  She currently volunteers her time with the Corvallis-Benton Chamber Coalition and the Oregon Progress Board.

National Public Performance Experts and Authors of “Grading the States” to Keynote Seminarspeakers

The Oregon Public Performance Management Association (OPPMA) and the Center for Governance and Public Policy Research (CGPPR) present a day-long workshop for employees in the public sector on performance measurement, budgeting and managing on July 17, 2008.  The event will conclude with a keynote address by Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, authors of "Grading the States: A Management Report Card.”

Registration is available online for the full seminar or just the keynote address by visiting

Location:  Willamette University College of Law, Paulus Lecture Hall
Time:  Day-long workshop begins at 8:00am, keynote address begins promptly at 3:30pm
Cost:  $99 for complete workshop, $30 for keynote only (both include membership to OPPMA)




Summer Events

Summer Lunch and Learn SeriesLunch and Learn


What are some of the most pressing issues facing today's managers and how do they deal with them? Join us this summer as our faculty lead discussions on some of the hottest business topics.

Presented at the Willamette University Portland Center and on the Salem Campus at the Hatfield Library from 11:30am-1:00pm (lunch is provided - discussions launch at noon).

Thursday, July 10 - Salem - Hatfield room

Accounting every manager should know
Featuring Professor Nicole Thibodeau

Thursday, July 17 - Portland Center

Recruiting, Retaining and Rewarding Talent
Featuring Professor Lisbeth Claus

Learn more and RSVP online:


A Mid-Summer Night’s Tradition – Join Us July 18, 2008

Mid-Summer Gathering BBQ - Friday, July 18th, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Atkinson School, Willamette University

AtkinsonProspective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are invited to join us for the annual Mid-Summer Gathering BBQ and Information Session at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem.

Those interested may join us earlier in the afternoon for information sessions on the Early Career MBA and MBA for Professionals programs. 

Friday, July 18, 2008
Information Session:  3:30pm-5:00pm
BBQ:  5:00-7:00pm
More Information:
RSVP (BBQ Only):

RSVP (Information Session and BBQ):



Jul 10 Summer Lunch and Learn Series - Salem
Jul 13 Administrative Assistant/Reception Pam Nyburg's Birthday
Jul 17 Summer Lunch and Learn Series - Portland
Jul 18 Mid-Summer Gathering BBQ
Jul 31 Student Affairs Coordinator Bo Bae's Birthday
Aug 20-22 Compass Week
Aug 28 Welcome BBQ
Sep 1 Labor Day - Class in session, University offices open
Sep 6 MBA for Professionals Orientation & Cohort Training
Sep 8 Dean Debra Ringold's Birthday
Sep 10 Professor Mike Hand's Birthday
Sep 13 MBA for Professionals Commencement
Sep 20 Director of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff's Birthday
Sep 23 Mentorship Reception
Oct 1 First Thursday Empowerment in Action Series
[ alumni events calendar ]


Career Services


Update from Director of Career Services: Beth Ursin

Job Market Update:Beth Ursin

Interim Graduation Statistics: At graduation, 45% of the graduation class of 2008 had accepted jobs and 66% of first year students had committed to summer internships, jobs and further educational opportunities.

Students have internships this year all over the globe, from Portland, OR, New York and Switzerland, to Saudi Arabia and Japan. Here are several examples of projects that students are working on:

Raution JaiswalRaution Jaiswal is a finance/verifying intern at Ashland Partners, Medford Oregon. As he describes, “The Ashland Partners' Internship Program provides college students with the opportunity to learn about the money management industry and gain hands-on experience in a nontraditional accounting firm. Interns work directly with senior staff on verifications, special projects, and data entry.” Ashland Partners provides compliance consultation and verification services to 475 investment management firms all over the world.

Cheryl BergerCheryl Berger is an HR intern at the Oregon Department of Corrections, Salem OR. She is “collaborating between HR and Leadership positions to build a training and development program for persons who have been promoted to leadership/management positions but without any management experiences. This program will teach them how to hire, discipline and other HR soft type skills required for leader/managers.” Oregon’s Department of Corrections has a large human resources team who works with staff at 13 correctional centers around the state of Oregon.

Kristy BolsingerKristy Bolsinger is a search engine marketing intern with Real Networks, Seattle WA. Her summer is invested in five projects including: “1) Copywriting: Writing both targeted paid search advertisements as well as writing targeted website copy. 2) Reporting: Using a variety of internal and external systems to pull performance reports and compile data on the performance of marketing efforts. 3) Research: Analysis of the competitive landscape to identify areas of opportunity. 4) Link building: Researching the interlinking of related websites and working with external sites and partners to create targeted links and content on 3rd party pages and 5)Specifications: Writing specification documents and working with designers on the design of web pages and micro sites.” RealNetworks, Inc. is the creator of Real Play and “develops end-to-end solutions that allow everyone to create, send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services over the Internet.”

Robin PeachRobin Peach is working as a financial analyst intern at Tektronix Inc in Beaverton, OR. She will be working with the “forecasting and management reporting requirements, performing procedures to ensure compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and assisting in projects to align historical finance and accounting practices with the new parent company.” Tektronix is a manufacturer of test, measurement and monitoring equipment for engineers around the world. Tektronix was recently acquired by Danaher Corporation.

Benjamin CropBen Crop is a development/communications intern at the Theatre Communications Group in New York, NY. Ben says, “as a non-profit focused student this is a perfect match for me. I will be in charge of managing a national project at TCG called Free Night of Theatre. I will be contacting member theatres and marketing TCG nationally. In addition, I will be writing about $150,000 in grants on my own with the guidance from the professionals at TCG. This internship will give me the ability to obtain a job in marketing and development, and ultimately a directorship for a non-profit.” TCG has over 475 member theatres nationwide and “seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of our member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of and appreciation for the theatre.”


Executive Development Center


Now is the Time - Utility Management Certificate Program Fall 2008 Cohort

Space is filling up for the 2008 Utility Management Certificate (UMC) program, presented in Portland in October.  Designed for managers of gas and electric PUDs and IOUs, the program is delivered in a cross-functional format that allows participants the opportunity to network with each other and share knowledge.

Register or request additional information online at

September 22-26 and October 20-24, 2008 (two week program)
Willamette University Portland Center – Portland, OR
Register online at  or e-mail


Faculty News

Debra RingoldFred ThompsonElliot Maltz
Elliot Maltz, Debra Ringold, and Fred Thompson published "Assessing Corporate Social Initiatives: a Tough-Minded, but Sympathetic, Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility" in the FSR Forum, 10/4 (June 2008) 20-26. The FSR Forum is published by the Financial Studies Association of Rotterdam (Financiële Studievereniging Rotterdam or FSR), which is comprised of Accounting, Controlling and Finance students at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. A pdf of the journal can be downloaded at:

Elliot Maltz also recently co-authored the article "How Procurement Managers View Low Cost Countries and Geographies: A Perceptual Mapping Approach," which was published in Volume 38 Issue No. 3 of the the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management. A full text archive of the article can be viewed at

Ken Smith

Ken Smith published an article on performance reporting by state agencies in the Summer 2008 Journal of Government Financial Management. Ken was also a guest blogger for the Association of Government Accountants on June 5. Read the blog here:



Staff News

Bo BaeWell wishes to Student Affairs Coordinator, Bo Bae as she accepts a new position with the University of Washington, Tacoma. Bo will be leaving Atkinson on July 18, after nearly two years of service to our community. In her new position, Bo will be working closely with the Associated Students of University of Washington, Tacoma (ASUWT), overseeing the Students In Service program (SIS) and the implementation of a comprehensive volunteer services program. She looks forward to working with other student affairs professionals and being closer to her family. While we will certainly miss Bo, this position is ideal for someone with her student affairs goals.



Student News


Current MBA for Professionals student, Susan Hanf announced the release of My Lemon Orchard Gets Fertilized: Tales of Real Life Misadventures. Her second work, My Lemon Orchard Gets Fertilized, recounts humorous short stories from Susan’s life.

Susan explained, “While the circumstances which led to the year of travel documented in My Lemon Orchard and this follow-up book, My Lemon Orchard Gets Fertilized, was not pleasant, it propelled me to take up a challenge which ultimately provided me with one of the greatest joys of my life. It also set me on a new path for my life’s journey. I hope that anyone who finds themselves at a place of turmoil is encouraged by my experience to not let the negatives that life can bring determine their fate.”

As a part of planting her lemon orchard, Susan is pursuing her MBA through Willamette University. While attending college she is documenting the challenge of going back to school in mid-life. The experience will be available for readers in 2009 after she completes the degree and once she has launched into the next phase of life.

If you need a vicarious escape, take a walk through My Lemon Orchard … you’ll leave with a laugh and a smile. My Lemon Orchard and My Lemon Orchard Gets Fertilized are available in hard copy, paperback and Adobe e-book formats via through,, and



“About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.”

Herbert Hoover

This email newsletter was sent to members of the Willamette/Atkinson community and subscribers from the Atkinson Graduate School. If you wish to unsubscribe to ATKINSONews, simply reply or email with your request.

ATKINSONews is a monthly newsletter from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management of Willamette University, Salem, Oregon. It is distributed to the current Atkinson community, subscribed alumni and University administrators via email each month during the academic year.

Mission: As an effort to foster one of Atkinson’s significant purposes — to establish a close community — ATKINSONews’s mission is to provide an accurate and timely forum for disseminating current news and events involving the school and its current and former community members.

Acknowledgements: I thank the following contributors for this month’s issue: Russell Yost, Debra Ringold, Ken Smith, Beth Ursin, Raution Jaiswal, Ben Crop, Kristy Bolsinger, Robin Peach, Cheryl Berger, Denise Crawford, Jim Fitzhenry, Pat Waite, Fred Thompson, Robert Foster, Sid Parakh, Terri Savage, Anita Hughes, Jerry Mathias, Bob Seibert, and Susan Hanf.

Subscriptions: Recipients wishing to unsubscribe — excluding current community members — must do so by submitting your request to unsubscribe. Current Atkinson community members (faculty, staff and students) cannot unsubscribe but can instruct their email software to purge or block the newsletter via Message Filters (Netscape) or Message Rules (Microsoft) applications. And last, please update your email address with us when your email address changes.

Comments/Corrections/Suggestions: I encourage and appreciate that you send your thoughts, comments, criticisms, corrections or suggestions about ATKINSONews to Corrections will be addressed in the following issue and all your comments or suggestions will be thoughtfully considered.

Submissions: You may submit any news item pertaining to your academic life or significant personal milestones including (but not limited to) promotions, awards, accolades, engagements, marriages and babies. Also, if you know of a near future event you think might be of interest to the Atkinson community, submit that item as well. I will try to include all appropriate submissions as time and space allow. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday noon, the day before publication (see below). Please send your submissions electronically to ATKINSONews.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the Atkinson Graduate School Administration or Willamette University.

Newsletter Archives: Past editions of ATKINSONews are located online.

Thanks for reading. Aimee Akimoff, Compiler/Editor